Even if the Keep My Voice citizen initiative petition gets on the November ballot, it’s unlikely to pass, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that three-fourths of voters are AGAINST the KMV petition.
Here are some of the numbers:
75 percent of adult Utahns oppose the Keep My Voice petition, which would do away with the current SB54 candidate dual pathway to the primary ballot, and only allow a candidate to get on the ballot by going the caucus/delegate/convention process.
Only 17 percent of Utahns support KMV.
And 8 percent don’t know.
The real battle over SB54, of course, is within the Utah Republican Party.
And Jones’ new survey shows there is little appetite among Republican party rank-and-file members to go back to the old days of Republican candidates having to come out of their state convention to keep their election hopes alive.
Even among only Republicans, Jones finds:
67 percent oppose the KMV petition.
28 percent support it; i.e. making all candidates go through the convention and doing away with candidates gathering registered Republican voter signatures to get on the primary ballot.
And 10 percent of Republicans don’t know.
Democrats and political independents have been against the convention-only process for some time.
And they clearly don’t want to go back to only the convention process:
Democrats oppose KMV, 80-16 percent.
Political independents – who can’t vote in the closed GOP primary, but can vote in the open Democratic primary – also oppose KMV, 85-8 percent.
The KMV backers, among whom are a vocal minority of the state GOP Central Committee that recently changed a party bylaw that would allow candidates who take the signature route to be kicked out of the party, would naturally look to the most conservative rank-and-file Republicans for support.
But they aren’t getting it.
Among those who told Jones they are “very conservative” politically, 62 percent favor the SB54 dual candidate route, only 28 percent favor the KMV petition – convention route only for candidates.
Those who told Jones they are “somewhat” conservative: 78-15 percent oppose KMV.
“Moderates” oppose the KMV petition, 77-12 percent.
Those who are “somewhat liberal” oppose going back to the convention-only process, 81-11 percent.
And those who said they are “very liberal” politically, dislike KMV, 85-13 percent.
Voters in all four of Utah’s U.S. House Districts oppose the KMV petition.
But the highest “no” vote comes in the 4th District.
That is where GOP Rep. Mia Love faces Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, a Democrat.
Love is taking the signature route along with the convention route, allowed under SB54. That means she is gathering 7,000 GOP voter signatures to automatically advance to the late June closed GOP primary, no matter what happens to her in the mid-April state Republican convention.
McAdams is doing the same thing, taking both routes at the same time and gathering signatures.
But Love had better be careful how closely she holds with the KMV-backers when she addresses delegates.
For Jones finds:
80 percent of 4th District voters oppose KMV, or going back to the delegate-only convention route to a party primary or general election.
Only 13 percent of 4th District voters stand with KMV, and 7 percent don’t know.
If Love doesn’t embrace SB54, she is definitely standing against most of the voters in her district.
Jones polled 609 adults from Feb. 9-16. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.